Wine: No need to wait for an occasion to pop this $10 bubbly from Italy

Keywords @Home / Alcohol sales
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From left, Famiglia Falvo Masseria Li Veli Fiano 2018; Skouras Assyrtiko Wild Ferment 2019; Acentor Rioja 2018; Craftwork Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2019; Tommaso Gambino, Gambino Cuvée Brut Sparkling Wine. (The Washington Post)

Italy shines again with an inexpensive bubbly that can help brighten the quarantine, plus a vibrant white wine to drink with all sorts of seafood. We continue the Mediterranean theme with a racy white from Greece, before moving on to a classic California sauvignon blanc. And for those cool autumn evenings around the fire pit, we’ve got a savory Spanish Rioja to round out the lineup.

Famiglia Falvo Masseria Li Veli Fiano 2018

Three stars (Exceptional)

Salento, Italy, $17

From the heel of Italy’s boot, this exuberant wine seems made to pair with any fish dish. It’s zesty, citrusy and a bit tropical, with apple and Asian pear flavors and a bracing salinity that suggests shellfish, grilled fish and, for Dr. Seuss fans, red fish, blue fish. Alcohol by volume: 13%.

Skouras Assyrtiko Wild Ferment 2019

Two and a half stars (Excellent/Exceptional)

Peloponnese, Greece, $20

Assyrtiko is most famous from the island of Santorini, but as demand has grown and prices climbed, importers are seeking out versions from the Greek mainland. Assyrtiko is structured, with high acidity that keeps it refreshing and exciting. This wine has some heft, so match it with hearty foods such as grilled chicken or fish. ABV: 13%.

Acentor Rioja 2018

Two and a half stars (Excellent/Exceptional)

Spain, $18

This savory red seems ideal for the weeks on either side of the autumnal equinox. It greets the nose with jammy late-summer aromas of blackberry pie, as well as a sense of a cool afternoon turning to dusk in a forest where the leaves have reached peak color and are almost, but not quite, ready to fall. This wine begs to be paired with meat cooked over fire. It’s young and should age well over the next five years if you’re willing to stock up. ABV: 14%.

Craftwork Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Two stars (Excellent)

Monterey County, Calif., $15

Here’s a textbook California sauvignon blanc, with a bit of grassy herbs on the nose, and lean aromas of pear and apricot underneath. This wine is a nice partner for lighter pasta dishes and grilled tofu or poultry. ABV: 13.5%.

Tommaso Gambino, Gambino Cuvée Brut Sparkling Wine

Two stars (Excellent)

Italy, $10

The company is from Sicily, but the wine hails from the Treviso area in northern Italy, the land of Prosecco. With flavors of ripe peaches and star fruit, slightly herbaceous and a tad off-dry, the bubbly is great on its own or as a base for a mimosas or bellinis. Be sure to try this; it’s delicious. ABV: 12%.

3 stars exceptional, 2 stars excellent, 1 star very good

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Dave McIntyre writes about wine weekly. He also blogs at dmwineline.com.

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